A senior deputy with the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office is expected to plead no contest to misdemeanor DUI charges next week after he was arrested for allegedly driving drunk at the Oceano Dunes.
Rainer Lee Bodine, who was hired by the Sheriff's Office in January 2007, faces misdemeanor charges of driving under the influence and driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or higher. He's pleaded not guilty.
Bodine, 32, did not respond to an email requesting comment Monday. He is scheduled to be in court July 11, where his attorney, Chris Casciola, says he is expected to plead no contest.
It is unclear whether Bodine is on leave or remains on active duty; a Sheriff's Office spokesman declined to comment on the matter Monday, citing personnel confidentiality laws.
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According to a police report, Bodine was stopped in a 2009 Dodge pickup truck at about 11:48 p.m. on March 10 near Post 2 at the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area for allegedly driving about 38 mph in a 15 mph zone. The State Parks ranger wrote in his report that Bodine was driving northbound near the shoreline toward Pier Avenue with three passengers.
When stopped, Bodine identified himself as a sheriff's deputy and admitted to drinking about five beers over the previous two-and-a-half hours that evening. The ranger found what Bodine said was his service handgun holstered in a door storage compartment, which the officer confiscated for temporary safekeeping, according to the report.
The officer wrote that Bodine said he was on his way to In-N-Out in Arroyo Grande to grab food with his passengers. Three empty beer bottles were also noted as being found on the floorboard of the backseat.
After performing poorly in a field sobriety test, Bodine was taken to Arroyo Grande Community Hospital, where a blood test later returned results of 0.12 and 0.13 blood alcohol content. The legal driving limit is 0.08.
At the hospital, Bodine was released to a family member with a promise to appear in court and was not booked into San Luis Obispo County Jail. His three passengers were released without charges.
Casciola, Bodine's attorney, said Monday that despite his statement to the ranger, Bodine was driving himself and his friends from their camping spot to a parking lot off Pier Avenue, where they were going to switch cars and one of Bodine's passengers was to drive to In-N-Out. That passenger was purportedly able to drive, Casciola said.
"While it certainly does not excuse the conduct, (Bodine) wasn't out on the road, putting lives in danger," Casciola said. "It was his intent to stay with his friends."